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|Marvel U.S. > Issue # 46|
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|Marvel UK > Issue #192–193|
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Apparently bounty hunters were big in the '80s.
At a county fair, a bounty hunter named Burn-Out interrupts the Z Foundation's carnie "Reck the Robot" shoot-'em booth by shotgun blasting the robo-prop. The barker tells him about a chance for real prizes...
At a monster truck rally, Randy "Roadhog" Horton indulges his passion for demolition derbies by destroying the Robo-car provided for the Z Foundation Challenge. The announcer tells him how he could do the real thing, for real money...
At a sleazy motel, two bounty hunters named Skunge and Felix employ high technology gimmicks and their own deceptively small size to capture criminals-at-large. At the local police station, an officer mentions the Z Foundation's robot-hunting bounty...
And so, in New York City, the four mercenaries gather at the Z Foundation's national offices. They are met by Mr. K and his associates, Mr. B and Mr. L. They explain that the chairman, Mr. Z., founded their business in order to eliminate the threat of all Transformers to the people of Earth. They offer the men $50,000 for each Transformer they bring in, and the use of patent-pending "jammers", designed under the theory that they can neutralize a Transformer's conversion power. So armed, the bounty hunters are christened the Roadjammers, and sent out to hunt their prey.
Meanwhile, there are nothing but robots on Cybertron. Six Autobots have been captured by the Decepticons, and await their fates in a detention facility. The Firecons arrive and escort out three Autobots — Fizzle, Sizzle, and Backstreet — to a waiting space bridge center. For their own suspicious purposes, the Decepticons fully re-energize and rearm the Autobots, sending them across the trans-dimensional gateway to planet Earth... right near New York City.
Catching the Autobots by surprise, the Roadjammers make quick work of Sizzle and the others. Still, some of what the Autobots said before they were jammered makes them curious — if the Autobots did just arrive on Earth like they claimed, how did the Z Foundation know where to send the Roadjammers to patrol? It crosses their minds that maybe Mr. K and the alphabet flunkies are running some kind of scam on the side with the 'Cons, so they come up with a plan to catch the businessmen with their possible Decepticon partners, and turn them all over to Mr. Z for an even bigger reward.
Back at the Z Foundation, Felix jimmies their way into a locked parking structure, and sure enough, they find three Decepticon Headmasters languishing in the corner. Mr. K and the others arrive and make no attempt to hide their partnership — they reveal their hidden binary-bonding armors and join with their Decepticon partners in robot mode. Only then do they realize they're paralyzed by the jammers, since Felix made the necessary adjustments to double the power of the three jammers they were given.
At that moment, Mr. Z himself enters the structure, and unveils his true identity as Lord Zarak, leader of the Decepticons. He summons Scorponok to retrieve the jammer technology from the Roadjammers, but Felix has arranged to manipulate the jammer signals by his dashboard computer system, letting him turn all six Cybertronians against Scorponok by remote control.
Temporarily overwhelmed, Zarak feels forced to activate his prototype anti-jammer, which unfortunately will free the Autobots from the Roadjammers' control, as well as his fellow Decepticons. As the jammering effect fades, the Autobots recover quickly and get the Roadjammers to safety before the Decepticons can turn on them. As the Autobots drive away, Felix tells his team that he's confident the jammer technology can be reverse-engineered, and that they'll all soon be back in business...
- Originally published: November, 1988
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- Was there some purpose to the Z Foundation other than setting up the Roadjammers? If so, what? If not, huh?
- The Z Foundation's representative explains to the Roadjammers that the Autobots and Decepticons are "equally dangerous" — if anything, wouldn't it have been in their best interest to try and convince them that Decepticons weren't as bad as they seemed?
- In fact, let's be honest... Zarak's entire plan in this issue is insane. Why not test the Jammers on Decepticons? Or just test them on the Autobots himself? Try not to think too much about it.
- Cindersaur, of all people, saying "I can roast 'em later?"
- Zarak has a Decepticon insignia (which he doesn't usually) for only one panel.
Items of note
- This is the first U.S. appearance for nearly the entire cast: Fangry, Horri-Bull, Squeezeplay, the Triggerbots, Firecons, and Sparkabots. (The UK storyline had introduced the Firecons and Sparkabots in "Enemy Action".)
- This is the first and only time Joe Delbo was to draw the space bridge. It was, in fact, the last appearance of the space bridge in the Marvel comics, though it does get one final mention in issue #51.
- The dastardly Robo-Car destroyed by "Roadhog" appears to have Hot Spot's head.
- In a nice artistic touch, Delbo actually draws Backstreet without his cannons until they're returned to him by the Decepticons.
UK Issue 192
- Backup strips: Action Force and Combat Colin
- Following the trend from last issue, this issue's splash page was edited to fit the UK comics' aspect ratio. Damn Jose Delbo and his small splash pages.
- This is the second time that the Sparkler Mini-Bots (as the UK comics called them) were captured by the Decepticons and tormented by the Firecons in the UK comics. The first time was in issues #170 (Deadly Games, pt 1) and #171 (Deadly Games, pt 2).
- Some dialogue was edited to reflect the fact that the Sparkler Mini-bots had already been to Earth in the past. The upshot of this is that it's now Backstreet who asks "Where are we?" when they leave the space bridge, rather than one of the Sparklers.
- This was the first issue where Dreadwind got to answer letters addressed to him instead of to Grimlock. In this issue he encourages people to send in anti-Grimlock letters, confirms that Metroplex does have a brain and confuses continuity by claiming that he and Darkwing came to Earth after leaving Nebulos.
UK Issue 193
- Backup Strips: Action Force, Death's Head and Combat Colin
- In Dread Tidings this issue, Dreadwind confirms that he and Darkwing are most certainly not brothers. Hi-Test also shows that he has a very British accent.
- The Death's Head "Backup Strip" in this issue is actually a one-page comic strip meant as an advertisement for Death's Head's own regular series. The UK comics often blurred the line between backup strips and advertisements.
- U.S. issue 46 cover: Roadjammers vs an Autobot by Frank Springer
- UK issue 192 cover: Mister Z. presenting picture of the Autobots to the Roadhog by Stephen Baskerville
- UK issue 193 cover: Burn-Out blasting Fizzle by Andrew Wildman
- None yet identified.